Israel News for February 12, 2016

Terror Averted
Police today arrested an Arab man at the Beersheba central bus station based on intelligence information that he was planning to carry out a terror attack.

In Gush Etzion, a young Israeli woman reported that an Arab driver tried to run her over while she waited at a bus stop. She wasn’t injured.

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Arab Police
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan promised, yesterday, that the police will increase their manpower in the Arab sector and boost law enforcement and police recruitment within the wider Muslim community across the country.

The police will be forming a new branch to focus exclusively on issues facing the Israeli Arab community. The plan includes the construction of what police hope will be more than 10 new police stations in Arab communities, as well as the recruitment of more than 1,300 police officers from the sector over the next five years.

The new branch is expected to be headed by Deputy Chief Jamal Hakrush, the deputy head of the Coastal District who previously served as the deputy head of the Traffic Police. Hakrush is from Kafr Kana, an Arab town north of Nazareth, and will be the first Moslem to serve as a deputy commissioner in the police.

According to data from 2015, although Arabs make up only about 21% of the population of Israel, 59% of murders, 55% of attempted murders, 58% of arsons, 47% of robberies and 32% of property crimes reported to police take place in the Arab community.

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Shin Bet Head
PM Netanyahu appointed deputy Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman as the next Shin Bet head yesterday. The 55-year-old Argaman, a resident of Rosh Ha’ayin, will replace Yoram Cohen in May of 2016.

Argaman was drafted into an elite IDF unit in 1978. He joined the Shin Bet in 1983, served as head of Shin Bet operations between 2003-2007 and then spent four years as the Shin Bet representative in the U.S. He was loaned out to the Atomic Energy Commission between September 2014 and September 2015, before returning to serve as deputy Shin Bet chief after Roni Alsheich was named Israel Police commissioner.

Government officials from across the political spectrum praised Argaman, including the PM, President, Defense Minister and opposition leader. To sum it up, President Reuven Rivlin said Argaman is, “the right man in the right place.”

May he be blessed with success in protecting the State of Israel.

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Mikvah Verdict
Yesterday the High Court of Justice issued a decision permitting Reform and Conservative religious courts to perform conversion ceremonies in public Mikvahs. The specific case related to the use of the Mikvahs in Beersheba. Since immersion in a Mikvah or a large natural body of water, is a Jewish legal (halachic) requirement for completing a conversion, the Conservative and Reform conversions have been forced to perform their immersions in the sea.

The ruling came in response to an appeal by the Israel Religious Action Center, the advocacy arm of the Reform movement in Israel, which represented both non-Orthodox movements.

Mikvahs in Israel operate under the auspices of the Orthodox-run religious councils, and Reform and Conservative converts are often prevented from using them when questions about their affiliation arise.

The state had argued that since Reform and Conservative conversions were done outside of the official Chief Rabbinate, the state was not required to accommodate them.

The court ruling stated, “From the moment the state set up public Mikvahs and made them available to the public – including for the purpose of conversion – it cannot discriminate among those who use them.”

The Reform and Conservative movements praised the court’s decision as a step in the direction of full acceptance of the movements by the government. But while their converts are registered as Jewish by the population registry, they are not accepted by the Chief Rabbinate and therefore cannot legally marry in Israel.

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Super Bandage
An Israeli company called Core Scientific Creations (CSC) has developed a super bandage called WoundClot that stops severe bleeding within minutes without the need to apply pressure on the wound, while enhancing the blood’s natural clotting process.

According to CEO Yuval Yaskil, uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of death on the battlefield. While the traditional protocol for treating such bleeding includes applying pressure on the wound, Yaskil says that in some cases like stab wounds to the neck or head trauma injuries, pressure does not work. That’s why WoundClot was chemically treated to stop bleeding and enhance clotting while maintaining its own stability for 24 hours, enough time to get patients to a hospital.

Dr. Shani Eliyahu Gross, Vice President and CTO of CSC, explained, “When it is exposed to liquids, this product starts to absorb enormous amount of blood and then it transforms into a gel state.” She added that the more blood absorbed in the bandage, the quicker the clotting process will proceed.

Yaskil said that CSC is providing WoundClot to the Israeli police and the IDF and is selling it to hospitals. WoundClot prices range from under $10 to around $100 for larger surgical products. The “super bandage” is meant to replace other products or procedures that can cost up to thousands of dollars.

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